Modena

Uncovered 273-year-old Modena balsamic vinegar 'delicious'

Lost ampule 'stunningly good' say experts

Uncovered 273-year-old Modena balsamic vinegar 'delicious'

Modena, July 15 - A 273-year-old phial of Modena's prized balsamic vinegar has been uncovered in the northern Italian city and experts say it's delicious. The viscous, gourmet grape reduction was found two years ago along with a handwritten note inside a 18th-century chest inherited by a Modenese family. "Vinegar taken from a bottle of the Gregori family of Modena in 1740. Today, February 17, 1943, the vinegar is 203 years' old. Signed: Giulio Jacoli fu Cesare," read the note. After extensive chemical tests, the ampule was approved for an official taste by the Consorteria dell'Aceto Balsamico Tradizionale (Traditional Balsamic Vinegar Consortium) to judge its texture, flavor and appearance. The consortium gave it 307 points, just 10.8 points below the balsamic vinegar that won this year's top prize at the Palio di San Giovanni, the industry's top competition. Tasters said they were stunned by its high quality given nearly 300 years of unaccounted-for conservation records. True balsamic vinegar must be aged for a minimum of 12 years in a series of successively smaller barrels. Bottles of balsamic aged for 25 years or more can go for hundreds of euros. There has been no on word selling the 18th-century ampule.

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